A COMMON QUESTION WE RECEIVE IS: WHEN DO I USE MY SAFETY? The general answer is to put the safety “off” when you are going to shoot the firearm, otherwise keep it on. But unless the use of a safety is incorporated into the presentation of a firearm, the shooter can easily forget about the safety, resulting in a miscue. This miscue during competition may can cause a loss of points, however in typical operation or in self-defense scenario it can cost a life. Remember, the operator of a firearm should always know the condition of it. The operator should know and verify by TOUCH whether it’s loaded or unloaded, what position the safety is in, if it’s in battery (a cartridge in the chamber and the slide is locked forward) and have a pretty good idea as to the amount of ammunition is in it. Remember that a safety is a mechanical device and should never be used in place of safe firearms handling. A nice feature of the AR platform is that when applying the safety, the index finger comes off the trigger as the thumb switches the safety off.
This principle can be applied to other firearms platforms as well. It’s especially applicable to 1911 types, Browning HiPower types.
The key to proficient firearms handling is use to utilize the sense of touch. The use of firearms is tactile based.
The Tic Toc Drill is a drill designed to help new AR operators manipulate and then identify the location of the safety by touch.